Macra na Feirme has paid tribute to the key role played by former Trade and Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan in securing supports for young farmers in the last CAP reform.
Hogan resigned from his position as Trade Commissioner earlier this week after controversy over movements in Ireland prior to his attendance at a golfing dinner in Cliden, Co Galway. He previously served as Commissioner for Agriculture.
Macra president Thomas Duffy said: “The Commissioner was always open to proposals from Macra na Feirme and our representatives in CEJA (European Council of Young Farmers). He delivered for young farmers when previous reforms failed and he and his team can be proud of those achievements.
“Despite the difficulties of the past week, history will reflect kindly on the achievements of Commissioner Hogan and especially how he put generational renewal, young farmers and the next generation of farmers to the core of the next CAP,” Duffy said.
On the question of a replacement commissioner, Duffy said it was crucial Ireland put forward two strong candidates for European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to choose from.
The candidates needed to have “the experience, reputation, network and skillset to maintain the trade portfolio”.
While president von der Leyen has full authority over what brief is assigned to each commissioner, Macra has called on the Government to put national interest over party politics in ensuring the two best candidates were put forward.
“Macra na Feirme looks forward to working with the next commissioner to bring his or her influence on the Commission to ensure that trade deals do not disadvantage Irish farmers and that terms of deals protecting Irish farmers are enforced,” Duffy said.
“We will continue to work with the current agri commissioner to ensure there is no backsliding on commitments to young farmers in the current CAP and that young farmer initiatives at member state level are sufficiently funded.”